marking a deck board with pencil

How to Choose a Deck Contractor

Published On: September 1st, 2022

If you are looking to add a deck to your property, you may not have the skill or time to do it yourself. Choosing a contractor to build your project can be overwhelming, however, as you want to ensure the deck is built right and safe for your family to use.

So, how do you choose the right deck contractor for your project? Here are some questions you should ask your contractor before hiring them.

How long have you been in business?

Every great company started somewhere and had to build up its client base from scratch. However, knowing how long the company has been in business is important. If the contractor cannot tell you how long they’ve been in business, this is a potential red flag.

Do you guarantee your work?

Mistakes happen, and issues can arise when a deck is built – even with the most experienced contractors.

If having a warranty is important to you, ask the contractors about what they offer and the process should a warranty claim be needed. Insist that they provide you with a written warranty.

Are you licensed and insured?

In the world of contracting, anyone can tell you they are a contractor. Reputable contractors, though, are both licensed and insured. This means that if any accidents happen while they are working at your home, they have their own insurance, so you are not responsible and cannot be held liable.

It is also reasonable to ask how much coverage or liability they cover and to ask to see their insurance certificate to ensure it is valid and up to date.

Do you have a portfolio of your work?

For any contractor, the proof of their abilities is in their work. Asking about a digital or physical portfolio can give you a good idea about the type of work they do.

This can also work two-fold for you: if a contractor tells you they’ve been in business for 10+ years but only has a few decks to show you, that would be something to question.

Most contractors will have a website or a social media account where they will post their finished projects and sometimes have before pictures as well.

Referral websites and social media accounts are also great places for you to get reviews from people who have worked with them. Happy customers will post their reviews, and so will upset or unhappy customers.

Every business will run into an unhappy customer at some point; it’s part of doing business. If a contractor only has a few positive reviews or has only exceptionally glowing reviews, it could be something to be wary of (they could be acquiring reviews in a dishonest fashion).

Look at what the reviewers are saying and what the issues were for those who had issues. Are they something that the contractor tried to resolve? Is it something beyond their control? All of these factors are important.

To be sure you are hiring the right contractor, don’t be shy to ask the above questions. Making sure they are a reputable contractor with good experience may save you many headaches both during the project process and down the road.